Friday, 3 December 2010

The Crystal Ball

'I believe,' says Mr. Andrew Lang, in his introduction to Mr. Northcote W. Thomas's "History and Practice of Crystal Gazing", 'that some crystal gazers are, somehow, enabled to 'see' things which are actual, but of which - crystal gazing apart - they have, and can have, no knowledge.  I have no conjecture as to 'how it is done,' but, if it is done, it upsets some extant popular philosophies.'

All lands and all ages have their stories of crystal gazing, though the majority seem to be concerned more with personal visions of the past, the present, and the future than with the detection of crime, with which it is chiefly the purpose of this article to deal.

Of the usual class of crystal vision there are few more interesting examples than that recorded by the late Mr. F. W. H. Myers in the series of papers on the subliminal consciousness.  In this case, Sir Joseph Barnby was the chief witness.  He was attending a wedding at Longford Castle, having left Lady Barnby at Eastbourne.  Whilst he was there a lady known as Miss A... looked in her crystal and described what she saw - a bedroom, and a lady in the room drying her hands on a towel.

The lady who was seen in this vision was tall, dark, slightly foreign in appearance, with rather 'an air' about her.

'This described with such astonishing accuracy my wife and the room she was then occupying,' Sir Joseph wrote in his account of the case, 'that I was impelled to ask for particulars of the dress she was wearing.'

Looking again into the crystal, Miss A... saw that the dress was of serge, with a good deal of braid on the bodice and a strip of braid down one side of the skirt.

This description threw Sir Joseph off the scent, as his wife expressed regret, before he left for Longford, that she had not a serge dress with her.  His astonishment, therefore, was great, on returning to Eastbourne, to find her wearing a serge dress exactly answering to the description, and to learn that, as a surprise, having received it very much earlier than she expected from the costumer, she had arranged to meet him in it.  His wife also recalled the incident that was seen in the crystal, of washing her hands, 'Thinking I was late for meeting the train,' she said, 'I opened the door to call the maid to tell me the time as I washed my hands, standing at the washstand in a line with the door.  I do not suppose I have ever done such a thing at an hotel before.'

Sixteen months later Sir Joseph and Lady Barnby were at Prince's Hall, Piccadilly, when Lady Radnor and Miss A... entered the room.  During the greetings that followed Miss A... called Sir Joseph's attention to a standing figure saying, 'You will remember my seeing a lady in her bedroom while I was looking in my crystal? That is the lady I saw.'  Sir Joseph adds that this lady was his wife, and that Miss A... had never seen her before.

From: 'Crime and the Crystal - has crystal-gazing a scientific basis? by F. A. H. Eyles

A few years ago I was looking in my crystal when I noticed therein a young man beside a bonfire.  He seemed distressed and unable to make his way away from it. I could think of no connection at that time, so returned the crystal to its place on the shelf in my study.

Later that summer, my son went to a rock festival in Reading. The festival was set to last for two or three days, but on the last day we received an urgent telephone from him to say that he was unable to drive himself home and could we possibly come and fetch him? Naturally we did so, even though it was a long way away and a great inconvenience.

On arriving at the festival ground, we found that everyone had gone home, leaving him to fend for himself.  To this day I don't know why he was in the state he was in, but I do have my suspicions.  His father drove his car home for him and I drove our car home.  As he got into it, looking rather dazed and confused, I noticed an overpowering smell of bonfires emanating from his person and his clothes...

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Why not sit down with me beneath a tree and discuss this interesting religion. I'm listening...